The Business of Changes

By Sam Burgess

Plenty of things have changed in the last year, even the local businesses that service the Summit Neighborhood. As they try to navigate the balance between commerce and safety, restaurants have reduced capacity, shops have gone fully online, and businesses have set up no-contact deliveries. However, these changes aren’t preventing new businesses from popping up, expanding, and flourishing!

Notable restaurant Avenue N of Rumford, RI opened its new branch on Hope Street in Providence last April. It has a diverse menu featuring items like Nashville hot chicken buns, Point Judith calamari, free-range organic chicken with local mushrooms, and incredible pizza specials! Check them out on Instagram @avenuenamericankitchen. 

Another restaurant opening, Little Sister, is an all-day café & bakery on Hope Street turning out Bolt coffee and breakfast & lunch dishes. They are inspired by tropical comfort foods from the owner’s childhood growing up in Puerto Rico and the bounty of living in New England. This is reflected in house-made pastries like Cubano empanadas, coconut bread pudding, and shakshuka Verde. Check them out on Instagram @littlesisterpvd. 

A new salon recently opened on Hope Street: Salon 951. The stylish space has a variety of services including root color, men’s haircuts, and Brazilian Blowouts! Check out their website for more information at 

We were sad to see Davis Dairy close in May of 2020 due to water damage from an upstairs fire. Davis Dairy had been a Hope Street mainstay for almost seventy-five years and was the last Jewish deli remaining in the neighborhood. On a positive note, we were excited to learn that a new Jewish kosher prepared foods and grocery will soon be arriving! Bubbies Market and Deli is scheduled to open March 1st, in time for Passover, at 727 Hope Street.

After 15 years of serving the neighborhood, fabric and interior design center Kreatelier is expanding its space on Hope Street. It will take over the storefront that ACT 2 used to occupy next door. The expansion will allow Kreatelier to create a display space to showcase wall coverings, home fabrics, and other creative interior decor ideas. Kreatelier has seen a big boom of home improvement projects since everybody is at home and wants to brighten their spaces! Check them out on Instagram @kreatelier. 

Even with so many changes in the way they operate, the momentum hasn’t stopped for all the excellent neighborhood businesses. Keep calm and take-out with grace! Are there any other businesses that have opened or closed? Reach out on Instagram at @SNAProv 

Summit Businesses Innovate in Covid Era

By Jackie Delamatre & Torin Mathieu

It has been a challenging few months for many in the Summit neighborhood and beyond. Yet, many local businesses have met the Covid era with inspiring creativity and generosity. From new products to fresh takes on dining to donations, Summit business owners have found ways to keep the lights on all while helping neighbors feel the love.

At Chez Pascal, owners Kristin and Matt Gennuso decided from the beginning not to open for indoor dining until it was safe for their staff and their customers. Instead, they have created a take-out menu that draws customers to their curb every night. They have also recently launched a creative twist on outdoor dining. Dubbed “Apres Ski” dining, their set-up includes Adirondack chairs made from old skis donated by neighbors complete with outdoor heaters, blankets, and warming seat pads. 

Kristin said their customers had been up for outdoor eating through the mild start of winter, but it was beginning to get chilly. She and Matt knew they needed to find a solution that would keep people comfortable. They thought about how after skiing everyone wants to eat something warm, and “we just took the whole theme and ran with it.” Instead of multiple courses in freezing weather, they focused on quick, simple, one-pot items. Matt researched foods and drinks found in the Alpine regions, and their menu now includes Tartiflette and Herb Spaetzle as well as a sampler of “very warming” Amari from Italy and Switzerland.

“People have just embraced it so much,” Gennuso said. “The other night Jan,” the owner of Stock, “and her husband came by all decked out in ski gear!”

Four blocks away at India Restaurant, owners have also been ramping up their take-out business — all while donating 100 free meals a day to those in need.

But it’s not only restaurants that are innovating and inspiring. Local Hope Street store, Frog and Toad, had a smash hit of a product at the beginning of the pandemic with its t-shirt emblazoned with the phrase “Knock It Off” – in honor of Governor Raimondo’s admonishment. Later, the store’s owner, Asher Schofield, pledged to donate one mask to Providence’s schoolchildren for every “PVD Love” mask sold.

At Kreatelier, Summit’s local fabric concept store, they knew immediately how they could be helpful. Mask-making fell squarely in their wheelhouse. Owner Line Deams and her team of nine seamstresses made 25,000 fabric masks. For every ten masks sold, they donated one. A total of approximately 3,500 masks went to Amos House, Dorcas international, local schools, and the elderly. They even gave orange child-size masks to local trick-or-treaters on Halloween.

It’s been a long few months here in Summit, but the local businesses have brought smiles to their neighbors’ faces. We know they are there behind the masks!

Apple products (organic) highlight cook off

SNA cookoff overall

On a traditional dark and stormy night, about 40 adults and a dozen children sampled their way through the Summit Neighborhood Association’s fifth annual cookoff a few days before Halloween.

Gathering in Seven Stars bakery on Hope Street, the cooks brought a total of 11 entries, all with apples as the major ingredient. The dishes ranged from ice cream, muffins, cookies and cakes (spicy and cheese) to butter, cookies and turnovers with an apple onion galette thrown in. The audience brought their appetites and savored each offering, voting for their favorite as they went. Adding to the flavorful ambiance was a tasting of oils and vinegars by Olive del Mondo, also a Hope Street merchant.

SNA cookoff overall2     After the votes were counted, SNA President Dean Weinberg and board member Emily Spitzman, who coordinated this year’s event, announced the winners.

First prize, a gift certificate to Seven Stars, went to Sandy Kohring for Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars,

Second prize, a gift certificate to Stock, a kitchen-supply store on Hope Street, went to Jade Rosendale for Apple Onion Galette.

Third prize, a gift certificate to Olive del Mendo went to Jenna Lafayette and Kimberly Aherne for Apple Butter.

The prize for best costume, a gift certificate to Hope Street emporium Frog & Toad, went to Cadyn Rosendale, 8, for her realistic portrayal of Hermione Granger.

All that was left was to polish off the last crumbs, take a final sip of coffee and head out into the storm – for which the event has been blessed for most of its life. At least there was no snow this year.

The winners and the recipes are below.

Cadyn Rosenberg

Cadyn Rosendale

Sandy Kohring

Sandy Kohring

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars


For crust

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup cold butter, cubed

For cream cheese layer

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

For apple layer

3 medium tart apples, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For streusel

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

1/3 cup cold butter, cubed

For topping

1/3 cup hot caramel ice cream topping



1.Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, combine flour and brown sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Press into a well-greased 13×9-in. baking pan. Bake 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned.

  1. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Spread over crust.
  2. In a small bowl, toss apples with cinnamon, nutmeg and remaining sugar; spoon over cream cheese layer. In another bowl, mix flour, brown sugar and oats; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over apple layer.
  3. Bake 25-30 minutes or until filling is set. Drizzle with caramel topping; cool in pan on a wire rack 1 hour. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Cut into bars. Yield: 3 dozen.

Jade Rosendale

Jade Rosendale

Apple onion galette


pre-made pie crust

1 small butternut squash

olive oil

salt, pepper, herbs de Provence

1 baking apple

1 medium yellow onion

fresh-cut rosemary

fresh and dried thyme

Dijon mustard

Cornmeal for dusting

1/3 cup goat cheese


I adapted this recipe from the Food Network where it was a Stilton cheese with more herbs, less mustard (they used a seeded brown) and no cornmeal. I tried without the cornmeal and it split as I removed it. 



-Let the pie crust rest for 45 minutes.

-Meanwhile, split and seed the squash, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle both sides with salt, pepper and herbs de Provence.

-Roast in oven for 30 minutes at 400 degrees, keeping oven at temperature for final baking. The squash is easily pierced with a knife, so remove the flesh from the skin and cut into cubes or wedges.

-Slice apple and onion in half and quarters, then each quarter into 4 or 5 wedges.

-Drizzle apples and onions with 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 ½ tbsp fresh-cut rosemary and mixture of ½ tbsp fresh and dried thyme, 2 tbsp Dijon, salt and pepper.

-Toss together, then add at most 2 cups of cubed squash and mix again.

-Dust a pizza tray with cornmeal, roll out the pie crust and brush entire surface with Dijon.

-Dump the filling into the center of the crust and arrange, alternating squash, onions and apples, leaving a 1″ or 1.5″ ring around the perimeter.

-Fold the first edge up over the filling, moving counterclockwise and lifting a hand-width portion at a time, overlapping the crust as you spin the pizza tray around.  Fix any tears as you go.

-Bake for 55 minutes, but at the 45-minute mark, add the goat cheese across the filling. Resume baking.

-Let cool and slide off pan.

Jenna Lafayette and Kimberly Aherne with Quinn.

Jenna Lafayette and Kimberly Aherne with Quinn.

Apple Butter


7 medium sized apples (we used McIntosh)

1 cup apple cider

¾ cup sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

⅛ teaspoon allspice

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon vanilla



  1. Peel, core and cut apples into small pieces, add to a heavy saucepan
  2. Add apple cider, bring to boil and reduce heat. Simmer 20 minutes
  3. Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine, return to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until thick and apples are tender
  4. Cool slightly and blend with an immersion blender until desired consistency



An apple this day keeps winter away

SNA Fall Cookoff jpeg 2015

     Since autumn is upon us, this is the time for baked goods made from that New England staple – apple.

The Summit Neighborhood Association’s annual bake off competition is set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28 at Seven Stars bakery, 820 Hope St. and the featured ingredient is apple.

Everyone in the neighborhood is invited to make their favorite apple dishes and bring them to the friendly competition – in quantities sufficient to allow dozens of people to taste them. Then prizes will be awarded for the most delicious.

And since the festivities will be held just before Halloween, dressing in costumes is encouraged and there will be prizes for those too. There may even be olive oil and wine or beer tasting, but that’s still in negotiation.

In past years, there have been snow and rain storms, but the show must go on and is sure to be a gala seasonal happening.

New store to debut in former Shaw’s Plaza

Ocean State Job Lot is about to launch its new store in what used to be called Shaw’s Plaza off North Main Street in Summit.

The grand opening is set for Saturday, April 18, and will feature a bigger, brighter and cleaner environment on 27,000 square feet of floor space with enough back-room storage to bring the total to 36,161 square feet. It is already stocked with more than 26 tractor-trailer loads of merchandise, according to David Sarlitto, head of corporate marketing. The old store in Pawtucket will close.

In addition to the shopping opportunities, the inauguration will provide about 30 new jobs and the company is currently conducting a recruitment program.

The former grocery store, accessible from Ann Mary Street, is completely rehabilitated inside with new steel shelves and lighting, Sarlitto said, adding that the merchandise mix is the same as at Ocean State Job Lot’s other stores but deeper, with higher quantity. He said the opening is part of an expansion program that has stores in eight states, including all of New England plus New York and New Jersey.

As part of the company’s commitment to those states, the Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation is putting together a Three Square Meals convoy of more than 100 tractor-trailers of supplies to 15 food banks. Many of the trucks are scheduled to leave the North Kingstown distribution center on April 9, with some already on the road, in one of the biggest such efforts in the country, Sarlitto said.

Merchants group seeks to throw new light on an already attractive destination

Hope Street – a place to eat, shop and play.

The Hope Street Merchants Association has launched a project to find a new way to light up our lives.

They are seeking to design, produce and install off-the-grid, solar-powered streetlights that will give a distinctive illumination and character to the shopping area.

Speaking at a kickoff party in November at Ristorante Pizzico, HSMA co-presidents Pernilla Frazier and Line Daems, owners of Kreatelier home interior services, said the new devices would enhance safety and ambiance to create a “village” feel for an area that is already a premier destination in the city.

Frazier said the fixtures they are seeking don’t exist yet, so the association is working with Johnson and Wales University engineering and information-technologies professor Jonathan Harris and some of his students to develop the concept. He said the students are tasked with “creating a sense of place and identity” and are expected to be finished in about 10 weeks. Their work will include developing an image and logo.

Harris, a principal at Transit Matters, 135 Power St., Providence, a company that designs and builds “urban amenities” that support “walkable communities,” stressed that the first-of-its-kind design would definitely not just slap a solar collector on top of an existing light standard but would seek to develop a system that would be a model for other innovators. Some of his previous local work includes the bus information kiosks downtown.

Deams pointed out that the local electrical utility, National Grid, owns the lightpoles and wiring on the street, but is in negotiations to sell them to the City of Providence, which is looking for innovative ways to save on power costs. She said a National Grid consultant is working with the association on long-term support for the project.

But to help defray the initial costs, the merchants are seeking to raise funds with a “Bring Light to Hope” campaign of selling “keepsake candleholders” at their shops as well as soliciting donations of larger amounts from individuals as well as corporate and charitable entities such as Miriam Hospital.

Donations can be made out to the Hope Street Merchants Assn., care of Kreatelier, 804 Hope St., Providence, RI, 02906. For more information, visit

Fourth annual SNA cook-off competition features squash as main ingredient

Participants sample one of the squash offerings at Seven Stars bakery.

More than 50 people crowded into Seven Stars bakery on Hope Street Oct. 29 for the Summit Neighborhood Association’s fourth annual cooking competition whose unifying ingredient was, appropriately, squash.

There were about 15 different dishes using it and a panel of three experts to judge them. In addition, there was a people’s choice determined by paper balloting by everyone who got to sample the offerings. Prizes were gift certificates to local businesses.

Rounding out the culinary nature of the evening were beer tastings presented by the Berkshire Brewing Co. brought in by Swan Liquors and olive-oil samplings from Olive del Mondo, both Hope Street merchants.

First prize, a $25 certificate to Seven Stars, went to a squash/garlic dish made by Dan MacLellan. Second, $25 to Olive del Mondo, was for farro by Meg Griffiths and third, $20 to Kreatlier fabrics, for triffle by Lexi Dantzig. The people’s choice award was a tie between roasted butternut squash lasagna by Elise Meyer and butternut squash hash by Kim Ahern and Jenna Lafayette, so they each got certificates, one to Frog & Toad gifts and the other to Stock kitchenware.

The judges were Jan Faust Dane, of Stock, Peter Kammerer, of The Sandwich Hut, and Sandy Kohring, last year’s first-place winner.

Recipes for the winning dishes are below. Next year’s main ingredient is open to suggestion.

Dan MacLellan - first prize

Squash & Garlic

Peel two yellow squash or whatever kind you like.

Heat a large frying pan, add extra virgin olive oil and put in 10-14 cloves of garlic, letting them turn golden brown but be careful no to let them burn.

Add slices of squash and saute slowly on both sides, turning after about 12-14 minutes.

Grate fresh cinnamon all over squash and don’t be afraid to use a lot. Also salt and pepper both sides. When squash is tender, put in half stick of unsalted butter and stir.

Taste and add cinnamon if needed.

Serve with risotto, mashed potatoes, rice, fresh peas or pasta such as orzo as this is a dish from the Perugia province of Tuscany in Italy.

Meg Griffiths - second prize

Sweet Potato Butternut Squash Hash



Sweet potato, cubed

Butternut squash, cubed

Onion, diced


Olive oil




Crisp bacon in fry pan, remove, set aside to cool and chop into small pieces.

Saute onion in the bacon grease, setting aside when soft.

Melt butter in a fry pan, add sweet potato, butternut squash and olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste and sauté covered until soft.

Mix in the onion and bacon and crisp in the hot skillet.

Serve with fried egg on top.

Elise Meyer - people's choice co-winner

Roasted Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Lasagna


9-12 whole-wheat lasagna noodle sheets (preferably no-boil)

1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 2 cups cubed)

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 1 1/2 cups cubed)

12 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 shallot, thinly sliced

3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed

1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

bunch of sage leaves

olive oil for drizzling


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lay cubed squash and potatoes on baking sheet and drizzle with a bit of olive oil (only about 1-2 teaspoons). Hand coat squash and potatoes with olive oil, then sprinkle with nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.

Roast for 50 minutes, tossing about every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool, then mash with a potato masher or fork.

For mascarpone filling, heat skillet over medium heat and melt butter. Add shallots and garlic, and whisk every 30 seconds or so for 2-3 minutes. Butter should brown and shallots and garlic should be fragrant. Be careful not to burn butter. If it does burn, start over (totally worth the effort). Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

In a bowl, combine mascarpone, 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, remaining salt and pepper and the shallots, butter and garlic. Mix until somewhat smooth and spreadable.

Spray non-stick coating in 8×8 pan and lay in 2-3 (depending on size/brand) lasagna noodles. Spread half of the squash mixture evenly over top, then spread/crumble half of the mascarpone on top of that. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella and remaining parmesan on next, then repeat with one more set of noodles, squash, mascarpone and cheese.

Top with sage leaves that will crisp up and bake for 45 minutes, or until cheese on top is golden and bubbly.

Kim Ahern - people's choice co-winner

Farro Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash


1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds)

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 cup semi-pearled farro

1/3 cup toasted pine nuts

3 ounces ricotta salata (about 3/4 cup)

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon water

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

1/2 small red onion, finely chopped


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Peel squash, then halve lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Cut into 3/4-inch chunks.

Coat large baking sheet with 2 tablespoons oil, spread squash in single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast until tender, about 30 to 40 minutes, turning pieces over halfway. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, toast the farro in a large pot over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 4 minutes.

Stir in 1 1/2 cups of water and pinch of salt, cover, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until grains are tender and most water is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and cool.

While farro simmering, in a small bowl whisk together vinegar, water, 1/2 teaspoon salt and granulated sugar until dissolved. Stir in onion, barely be covered by vinegar mixture. Cover and set in fridge until needed with 30 minutes ideal.

In a large bowl, mix butternut squash, farro, onion and its vinegar brine, crumbled cheese and pine nuts. Toss

4th Annual Fall Cookoff

WHEN: Wednesday October 29th 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Seven Stars Bakery, 820 Hope Street

Come out and bring your best squash dish.

No Dish? No problem. Come taste everyone elses!

No entry fee.

Families & costumes encouraged!

  • Prizes for best dishes
  • Judges from local eateries
  • People’s choice awards
  • Awards for best costume
  • Wine and olive oil tasting

Sponsored by the Summit Neighborhood Association